Can Microsoft Teams be Hacked?
Microsoft Teams is an attractive target from a hacker’s point of view. It has millions of users who typically work for enterprise-level organizations, many of whom share sensitive information on it. Microsoft Teams has multiple vulnerabilities that hackers are known to be exploiting, but it’s also likely to have others that aren’t public knowledge.
Microsoft Teams is a business communication platform that’s part of the Microsoft 365 family of products. It provides services such as application integration, file storage, videoconferencing and workspace chat. Teams is replacing other business collaboration and messaging platforms from Microsoft, such as Microsoft Classroom and Skype for Business. The use of Teams and similar platforms has greatly increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, as meetings moved to a virtual environment. Over 270 million people use Teams each month as of January 2022.
Microsoft uses some of the latest techniques and best experts in cybersecurity to protect Teams from hackers, but that doesn’t mean it’s immune to attack. It has quite a few zero-day vulnerabilities, which are vulnerabilities that don’t yet have a patch. Until these vulnerabilities are fixed, hackers can exploit them, whether the software developer knows about them or not. Hackers have exploited many vulnerabilities affecting Teams over the years, and Microsoft has generally been quick to fix them. Fortunately, hackers have also missed some of the most severe Teams vulnerabilities.
On the other hand, hacking Teams is generally a challenging task. There are usually easier ways of accessing a target system, which is why reported hacking attempts against Teams are relatively rare.
Chat System Flaws
Security researcher Oskars Vegeris discovered a major vulnerability in the Teams chat system during August 2020. Hackers could have used this vulnerability to execute code by using a chat message specifically designed for this purpose. Vegeris promptly reported this issue to Microsoft, which patched the vulnerability by October 2020. No exploits of this vulnerability were ever reported.
Power Apps Flaws
Power Apps is graphical software for writing low-code business applications, including Teams. As a result, hackers could use flaws in Power Apps to attack Teams. For example, researcher Evan Grant reported a Power Apps vulnerability in June 2020 that could have allowed hackers to access Teams chat history. This flaw is based on the fact that Power Apps tabs only verified that Teams URLs started with https://make.powerapps.com at that time. However, hackers could have created similar domains and used them to load malware into those tabs. Microsoft patched this vulnerability before any known attacks occurred against it.
Proper use of anti-virus (AV) software is the best way of protecting Teams against attacks. It’s also important to update your operating system and AV software to ensure they’re effective against the latest malware. A strong firewall and reliable browser can also block the actions of malicious websites, provided you keep them current. Use passwords that are hard to guess but easy to remember, and change them regularly. Don’t click on links in emails from untrusted sources.
Security researchers have discovered zero-day vulnerabilities in Microsoft Teams, showing that it is possible to hack. The possibility of accessing discussions of sensitive information makes this platform a potential target for hackers, but Microsoft’s rapid response in patching Teams makes it difficult to exploit. As a result, hackers can usually find more effective ways of compromising a system.
As technology gets smarter, so do hackers. With WAMS, we will be responsible for your small to medium sized firm or business with our IT solutions and managed services. Do you want to use Teams for your business? Do you want a secure network for your business? Get in contact with our team of experts, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (800) 421-7151.